Does Telemarketing Still Work?
Hamilton: It will obviously have a great effect on the numbers of available names for calling. More importantly, it will put an end to the attitude that consumer calling is a commodity business you purchase by the hour. It will now be extremely important, as it once was, that you evaluate your opportunity to sell on each call and tailor your message to the needs of that consumer.
IDM: With millions of Americans not yet signed up for the national registry, do marketers still have a viable source of prospects and customers for their marketing efforts?
Hamilton: Only temporarily, if we continue with business as usual. The prevailing belief at the moment is that these are the people who buy anywhere, so let's just call them more to make up the volume.
And there it is again, the commodity mentality. These people will quickly get the idea that they are the only suckers left, and they will join what will very quickly become a list of Americans more complete than the census.
IDM: What is the effect of a reduced volume in names on call centers?
Hamilton: Presumably, what's going to happen is a loss of 1 million to 2 million jobs in the telemarketing industry. And, if telemarketers continue to do business as usual, by making up for volume lost with more calls to phone numbers not on the the do-not-call list, then those people will get on the list fast. The companies that will survive are the ones who put marketing back in the word telemarketing.
IDM: What measures are companies legally required to take to ensure their compliance with state and national do-not-call legislation?
Hamilton: Simply put, acquire all of those [suppression] lists, plus the Direct Marketing Association's Telephone Preference Service list, and remove those names before calling. This is obviously simpler to say than do, but there are companies who will handle this for you if a company does not have the internal resources.